Introducing the 890V2 Boston: Interview with New Balance’s Claire Wood

New Balance is proud to be from The Hub, which is why the special edition Boston 890 features custom iconography along the heel and insole that represent Boston’s best.   This limited edition version of their lightest neutral running shoe is here to commemorate the big race.  Just pick up the Boston 890 and you’ll feel it right away: the potential to move with a lightness you’ve never experienced before. It is incredibly light, yet it’s not a stripped-down racing flat reserved for speedsters — it’s a neutral running designed for everybody.  For an inside look at the inspiration of this shoe and how it can perform, we caught up with Claire Wood, New Balance’s Running Product Manager.

This is a very unique shoe; where did the inspiration for the 890V2 BOS come from?

“Inspiration from the Boston version of the 890V2 came from a combination of things. The specific color was inspired by the extremely rare, blue lobster, and we wanted to combine that with bold color pops of the bright green and orange so that it stood out even further on our already bold lineup of the 890v2. The details found on and inside the shoe were inspired by our desire to allow visiting runners to leave with little pieces of our amazing city. There is so much history, charm, and character to Boston, and we wanted to celebrate that,  as well as all sorts of scenery a runner would encounter here…. Not to mention a fun reminder to Run Fastah, as we may or may not mention on the tips of their shoelace…”

What are some of the unique ‘nods’ to Boston found in this shoe?

“We’ve left it up to the runner to take a close look at the details the Boston 890v2, and discover the specialness that each icon represents. To mention a few (without spoiling!), runners will find icons that give a nod to the famous CITGO sign, a Dunkin Donuts up of coffee, a crisp Sam Adams brew, or even the famed golden ducklings found in the public garden. With icons ranging from crew boats one would run by on the Charles River, to feathered pens our founding fathers used to sign quite important declarations, we hope runners and wearers of the Boston 890V2 understand first-hand the memorability of what we’ve brought to life on our running shoe. I of course cannot leave out the celebration of a good Boston lobster (or “lobstah” as us Bostonians can be heard saying), easily spotted in reflective on the heel.”

Along with yourself, can you describe the creative team at New Balance who worked on this project?

“I have the great pleasure of working with some amazingly talented footwear designers who not only are masters of the industrial part of their craft, but also wildly creative.  Myself and Kyle Strek, senior footwear designer behind the 890v2, went offsite for a day to sit outside and just simply brainstorm on all things Boston. Areas special to us, landmarks, places, things we see – and we sat in the sun, had some lattes, and jotted things down. What I love most about working with someone as creative as Kyle is that ideas simply build, like the rare blue lobster . . . and we go on tangents from there that one can now find on the Boston 890V2.”

What are some of the technical updates to the 890V2 from last year’s edition?

Compared to last years’ edition, the 890v2 boasts the same REVlite foam, lending itself to an incredibly light experience, but in an everyday training shoe.  What we wanted to offer this runner was a slightly more natural experience, therefore we engineered this shoe on our PL-1 Natural last. The 890v2 now positions the runners foot at an 8mm midsole offset, with heights of 19mm in the heel, and 11mm in the forefoot. Runners are still guaranteed the full ground contact through midstance, aiding in good cushioning at the midfoot area and also a smooth transition.  An upper comprised of soft, no-sew material through the vamp and thin TPU welds through the quarter hold the runner through the arch area. The iconic look of the original 890 comes to life in a fresh update.”

The NBx collection has experienced tremendous momentum over the last few seasons; can you tell us what’s new for 2012, and what’s to come in the future?

“The NBx collection is all about delivering relevant, performance products to the everyday runner, and we strive to add an exclamation point to that experience. Performance Developer Stephen Brown has taken our material packages, internal constructions and overall shoe-making best practices to another level. Working closely with all of our talented designers and engineers, we hope to continue to turn heads with our performance offerings throughout the entire range. 2012 will bring new offerings for the runner looking for REVlite + a little stability, racing comps in our Fantom Racing collection, and all sorts of careful updates to those go-to shoes runners swear by. The NBx collection offers a shoe for each and every runner and their own unique needs”

As a Boston-based company, what does New Balance have planned for this year’s Marathon, and what are some things that you think make this such a unique and special event for the City of Boston?

“As a Boston based company, New Balance plans to celebrate our amazing city and everyone who runs here with encouragement to runners and welcoming them here at this special time. Look out for T stations, taxi tops and trolley cars to find out what we’re saying to everyone as congratulations for making it here. One thing for sure when runners come to Boston over marathon weekend is that they will know New Balance is born and bred here, loud and proud of it, and injecting energy into all-things running that doesn’t stop.”

 Any ideas or early plans on what the 2013 890 BOS will be like?

“There will certainly be a celebration and a welcome to runners in 2013 through a Boston 890. What that is just yet, I’m not quite sure, but I do have a conference call with Paul Revere next week to discuss possible plans…”


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